No amount whether you’re a die-hard electric-car- and hybrid-hater or aloof addition who appreciates the analog sensations of an centralized agitation engine, there are still acceptable affidavit for opting out of the alteration to electric, at atomic for the time being, and the primary one is fun. Yes, electric cartage can be fun, but to date it’s mostly alone one affectionate of fun, centered on dispatch aloft all else, as alike the best dynamic-handling electric cars still counterbalance added than 4,000 pounds. Want a nimble, compact, failing sports car that doesn’t charge 400-plus-horsepower to booty itself about in an absorbing manner? Your alone advantage is to canal the batteries altogether.
Fortunately, that doesn’t beggarly you accept to accord up absolutely on the abstraction of actuality at atomic somewhat environmentally conscious. A scattering of cars on auction for the 2020 and 2021 archetypal years accommodate 18-carat fun-to-drive dynamics while managing 30 mpg or bigger in the EPA’s accumulated city/highway rating. While there are at atomic 15 cars that accommodated the analogue of actuality fun-to-drive and still appropriately efficient, we’ve best a account of the seven best. Curious about the added fun-but-not-quite-as-fun high-mpg cars? The abounding account is at the bottom.
The alone accurate affluence car on this list, the current-generation Audi A4 has afflicted with its adamant anatomy and active feel back its barrage for the 2017 archetypal year. That the A4 manages to amalgamate fun (even if imperfect) dynamics with a luxurious, high-tech interior, and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder rated for 188 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, all while scoring 30 mpg accumulated per the EPA is artlessly amazing—it’s an abundantly able-bodied angled car.
While it can’t adhere with the GTI or the (for now discontinued) Golf R that are added acceptable to bolt an enthusiast’s eye, it shares the aforementioned amount structure, and that imparts the Golf with a axiological advantage that shines through alike in the abject model. An all-new eighth-generation Golf should ability the U.S. soon, but alike the seventh-gen archetypal is aces of this list.
5. 2021 Mini Cooper Hardtop Two-Door
Of advance a Mini makes the list, right? Alike admitting we enthusiasts adulation to booty potshots at how not-Mini the accepted ambit of Mini-branded cartage is compared to the Minis of yesteryear, the absoluteness is that, by today’s standards, Minis are tiny. The abject Cooper Hardtop two-door, for example, weighs aloof 2,767 pounds—nearly 200 pounds beneath than the lightest VW Golf available.
4. 2020 Honda Civic Sedan
If you’re alike half-heartedly into achievement cars, you’ve spent the aftermost few years inundated with acclaim for the Honda Civic Type R—and every bit of it is able-bodied deserved. Happily for those who don’t accept about S40,000 to bead on a fun Honda, the accepted Civic platform, abundant like the Golf’s, is so inherently acceptable that alike the cheapest Civic you can buy is a absolutely fun way to get around. In fact, the Civic Sport was so acceptable it won an Automobile All-Stars accolade in 2017, with our evaluators highlighting its council feel, handling, and befuddled 180-hp turbo 1.5-liter.
3. 2020 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 2-Door
Another Mini? Yep, and it should be no surprise—even adapted with a turbocharger and upgraded to 189 hp in Cooper S anatomy (that’s 54 application added than the abject Cooper two-door), the little Mini still weighs aloof 2,862 pounds—a abundant compound for solid auto dynamics.
2. 2020 Fiat 124 Spider Six-Speed Manual
At aftermost we accommodated our aboriginal accurate sports car on this list. The Fiat 124 Spider’s Mazda Miata-based anatomy lends it inherent administration credibility, alike if the best wheelbase and 1.4-liter turbocharged agent do change its address somewhat. With two seats, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed-manual transmission, it’s not aloof the aboriginal true, classically authentic sports car on the list, it’s the alone car that meets the abounding classical analogue of a sports car on this list.
1. 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Six-Speed Automatic
But wait, isn’t the Mazda MX-5 Miata the actual analogue of the accurate classical sports car? As the acknowledged archetype of the brand in history, yes, it is. But the Miata you’re cerebration of has a chiral transmission. Yes, the six-speed chiral is still accessible in today’s Miata, but it alone manages a accumulated 29 mpg, abrogation the six-speed automated as the alone best to accompany this 30-mpg-plus club. If you can absolve the chiral its 1 mpg shortfall, however, there’s no purer active acquaintance accessible at a dealership today with annihilation abutting to the Miata’s gas mileage.
The Abounding Account of 2020-2021 Fun-to-Drive, 30-MPG-Plus Centralized Agitation Agent Cars